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Guest essay on the NY Times warns there are no good solutions to ‘America’s Trump Problem’

It’s possible that condemning Trump may be what Democrats want, but it would irreparably damage the country’s faith in its institutions.



Aim Leftwards” While there is no perfect solution to “America’s Trump Problem,” substack writer Damon Linker warned in a Sunday New York Times essay that locking up Trump could be the worst option for the country.

Linker looked at the effects of the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago from many different perspectives, including the politicization of the FBI and how Trump himself should be treated by the law.

Linker said that the Democrats’ hope to see Trump “frog-marched to jail before the country and the world” is “a dream going back to the earliest days of the Trump administration.” “But this is all made up. No one, not even Democrats, will come out ahead in any future scenario that continues along the current trajectory.”

He showed how, despite any potential legal merit, a “prosecution of the former president” would cause widespread division and be interpreted by many as a naked power grab.

A judge in Florida has ruled that a portion of an affidavit pertaining to the Trump Mar-a-Lago raid can be unsealed.

“In this scenario, the Republican Party’s de facto leader and odds-on favorite to be the party’s nominee for president in 2024 would be tried in court by a Democratic administration. That would be a very bad example to set “Says Linker.

Then he urged his audience to “Imagine that whenever one political party hands over power to another, the new administration’s Justice Department launches an investigation that eventually leads to the arrest of the outgoing administration.

He admitted that there are risks associated with letting Trump off the hook for the crimes of which he has been accused: “Mr. Trump will have learned that becoming president has effectively immunized him from prosecution. To put it another way, if Mr. Trump were to win a second term, he would enter office convinced that he could do whatever he wanted.”

Yet, Linker predicted that a complete national divide based on mistrust of institutions would be the worst possible outcome, saying, “If Mr. Trump is indicted and brought to trial, the Republican argument will be the same one we’ve heard constantly throughout his administration. His supporters argue that anyone who claims to be committed to the rule of law without bias is actually driven by partisanship and the desire for personal gain.”

After the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, Republicans denounced what they called the “weaponization” of the Department of Justice, while Democrats defended it as “accountability.”

He elaborated on why people have stopped trusting institutions: “That fire would be aimed at the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Attorney General. The public display would be corrosive, leading many Republicans to conclude that legal arguments are meaningless.”

He added that Trump would be politically risky in a new way “even if convicted” and “possibly running for president from a jail cell.”

“President Trump would be up against the Establishment. In doing so, he would be reviving a classic American stereotype: the lone wolf outlaw who challenges the establishment in the name of the people and ultimately brings it down “As a writer, he put pen to paper.

Linker wrote that while there might not be a “perfect” solution, Democrats should consider a “lesser evil” scenario because it still involves risk “Therefore, it is critical that we abandon our initial plan to bring criminal charges against President Trump. Instead, we should adopt Plan B, which involves putting off the hope for a post-presidential perp walk until the political process has run its course.”

“If Mr. Trump is the G.O.P. nominee in 2024, Democrats will have no choice but to defeat him yet again,” he continued, “hopefully by an even larger margin than last time.”

Finally, he said, “If Mr. Trump runs again, he obviously poses a risk of being elected. But that’s a chance we have to take, and it’s possible we’re in a spot where there are no truly good choices.”